Digmine Malware Uses End-User Systems to Mine Cryptocurrency

Today’s topics include Trend Micro's warning to Facebook Messenger users about a cryptocurrency mining campaign; Whitehouse.gov's switch from the Drupal to WordPress website content system; and the release of a new Microsoft Power BI analytics template on Reddit.

Security firm Trend Micro has issued a warning about a cyber-attack campaign that abuses Facebook Messenger to help deliver and control a cryptocurrency miner to victim's systems. The cryptocurrency miner campaign, dubbed "Digmine", has reportedly been active in several regions around the world including South Korea, Ukraine, Philippines, Thailand and Venezuela.

The Digmine attack uses a Facebook Messenger bot to send a message to unsuspecting users that includes a link to a cryptocurrency miner. The scope of the attack is limited in that it only works against the desktop web browser version of Facebook Messenger running in Google Chrome.

Trend Micro reported its research to Facebook, which has already taken steps to mitigate the risk, stating, “If we suspect your computer is infected with malware, we will provide you with a free antivirus scan from our trusted partners.”

The whitehouse.gov website was recently relaunched to enable a switch from the open-source Drupal to WordPress content management system. WordPress is one of the most widely deployed CMS platforms on the internet today, powering 25 percent or more of all websites.

Although the switch went unannounced, a simple look at the source HTML code shows trademark WordPress directory and file naming conventions with the prefix "wp." WordPress separates content from the page layout through the use of Cascading Style Sheets.

The new whitehouse.gov website theme is aptly called "WhiteHouse" and is currently using version 45, a reference to Donald Trump being the 45th president. The primary motivation for moving from Drupal to WordPress is all about cost saving, with the relaunched site saving U.S. taxpayers an estimated $3 million a year.

Microsoft has launched its new Brand Management and Targeting analytics template on Reddit that was developed using APIs from social data specialist SocialGist. The template allows companies to keep track of how many times their brands and products are mentioned on the massive online discussion site, along with other insightful metrics.

"The Reddit solution template suite combines AI with interactive visual analytics to reveal how different brands are performing across the Reddit platform," said Justyna Lucznik, a Microsoft Power BI program manager. "It uses Azure services and technologies from Microsoft AI and Research to support rich exploration by sentiment levels, key words, and author communities."

The template can also create reports that focus on the communities that discuss a company's products—known as subreddits—and identify influencers. Users can also perform analyses on their competitors.